BCB Interviews Corey Kemp

No, the Brewers did not just draft right-handed pitchers; there are a few position players salting the draft haul. One of the more intriguing of the bunch is East Carolina catcher Corey Kemp. Kemp hit .341/.444/.628 for the Pirates and was named second-team All-America for his trouble. Hits well and plays catcher? Sounds good to me.

BCB: Are you in Arizona now?

CK: Yes I am.

BCB: I hear the weather is brutal.

CK: True, thank God we practice in the morning.

BCB: So, did you know the Brewers were interested in drafting you before they did?

CK: Yes I did. [Brewers’ scout] Dan Nellum was in contact a lot.

BCB: What other teams talked to you?

CK: The Reds, Cardinals, and Cubs were the most interested.

BCB: Were you surprised at where you were drafted? Were you expecting to go higher or lower?

CK: I wasn’t sure really, I was told anywhere from [round] 8 to 20. I was happy to go in the 14th.

BCB: Did you know they were interested in your teammate, [42nd-round pick, shortstop] Ryan Wood, too?

CK: Yeah, probably more so than me.

BCB: Oh, really? Did they discover you while scouting him?

CK: Yeah, Ryan is a stud; no one knows how he fell so far. Not real sure really.

BCB: Signability? Do you think he'll sign?

CK: Might be, be but he said he would sign anywhere before the 15th [round]. He was my two-year roommate.

BCB: So you're pretty good buddies with him then?

CK: Great friends.

BCB: So if the Brewers are willing to give him top 15-round money, he might be interested?

CK: I'm pretty sure.

BCB: How's his defense at short? You think he'll be able to stick there?

CK: For sure. Cannon for an arm.

BCB: How are you defensively behind the plate?

CK: I'm okay, I suppose; I still have a lot to learn.

BCB: Did you just recently take up catching?

CK: Full-time, last year.

BCB: What did you play before that?

CK: Third base, but I was back and forth for about five years, just never really focused on catching till this year.

BCB: What are your strengths as a player?

CK: Work ethic and love for the game. I also believe I bring positive energy to a team.

BCB: Do you know yet whether you'll go to Helena when their season begins?

CK: Not real sure; we'll find out in the next day or two.

BCB: Do you know anyone in the organization?

CK: Sam Narron, who is in AAA, is from ECU, and I’ve talked to him on a few occasions. Great guy.

BCB: I'm rooting for him to make it back to the big leagues, just because the one game he was up with Texas a few years ago was so terrible.

CK: Yeah, he had a tough outing, but that happens. That's baseball.

BCB: As an African-American, does the presence of so many young black talents on the big league club make you more comfortable in the organization than you might otherwise be?

CK: I mean, that's great to see. I don't know if that makes me more comfortable--I've always been the minority on every team; mostly I was the only black kid.

BCB: Did you ever see being the only black kid on the team as a problem?

CK: No, not really. I didn't really ever focus on it, but I definitely always noticed.

BCB: Is that a problem to be fixed, or is just one of those things?

CK: I’m not sure. Baseball can get very expensive to play competitively; some summer teams charge $1000 to play in the summer.

BCB: How did you get into baseball?

CK: Most of my family is from St. Louis, so as a young kid I spent summers in St. Louis dressing in Cardinal red. Went to my first game and didn't eat for three hours, which was a record for me, and I begged my dad to sign me up. From that, game on.

BCB: Oh so you're a Cardinals fan? Well, better than the Cubs, I suppose.

CK: (laughs) Yeah, that's true.

BCB: Is there a Major Leaguer you pattern your game after?

CK: I really love watching Manny [Ramirez] and Big Albert [Pujols] hit, and I love to watch Yadier Molina and [Brian] McCann catch.

BCB: Molina is primarily known for his defense, while McCann is mostly known for offense. Who do you identify with more?

CK: That's why I love to watch both--mixing the two makes the perfect catcher, and McCann's defensive skills are underrated.

BCB: So when you make it to the big leagues, we'll call you McYadi, yeah?

CK: Sure, great comparison. (laughs)

BCB: Do you have any favorite baseball books?

CK: Moneyball was interesting. That and Ball Four.

BCB: What did you take away as the message of Moneyball?

CK: Just that this is a business now, and that there is a whole other side to the game that is very statistical.

BCB: Do you get into statistical analysis at all?

CK: Nah, I just play the game as hard as possible.

BCB: Fans can’t ask for anything more. We appreciate the time, and we’ll be cheering for you.

CK: Thanks.

SB Nation Featured Video
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.